History & Mission


In 1975, Art Lab opened in a converted factory building on Norwood Avenue, in the Clifton section of Staten Island. Art Lab was Staten Island’s first cooperative arts-related teaching facility, and offered workshops and exhibition resources for artists of all levels of experience.

As Art Lab grew, the organization was restructured and moved to larger and more visible headquarters at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center as the Center was developing its identity as a home for cultural organizations. Enthusiastically welcomed by the Harbor as “exactly the kind of thing we are looking for,” Art Lab expanded its faculty and curriculum, and undertook a building renovation project at the new site.

Art Lab occupied various locations in buildings G & H before settling in its current headquarters on the first floor of building H.  Art Lab’s class offerings and gallery programming have expanded through the years to meet the needs of the Staten Island community as we strive to fulfill the mission set down by our founding members in 1975.




Art Lab’s purpose is to offer Staten Island the best possible and most professional independent school of fine and applied art, and to bring knowledge and appreciation of artistic excellence to the metropolitan community through regular classes, exhibitions, demonstrations, workshops, and lectures.

To this end, our goals are:

  • To enable artists to refine the skills necessary for art-related careers.
  • To assist non-professional artists of all ages to develop their talents to the highest levels of skill and enjoyment.
  • To help young adults bridge the transition from secondary school to professional standing.
  • To develop scholarship programs to insure that students may nurture and use their talents regardless of economic limitations.
  • To collaborate with other cultural and educational organizations in programming that will expand Art Lab’s ability to serve the multi-cultural community while maintaining the integrity of its overall objectives.